“It’s our symbol, and Christianity is supposed to be joyful,” Beverly Parker-Reese, youth minister at Asbury United Methodist Church in Lincolnton, told the Times-News Monday about the Christian Cross — the focus of the worship facility’s most recent fundraiser.
Called Cross-Eyed with Love, the ongoing fundraiser, initially set to only run through Holy Week but later extended to continue through at least the rest of the year, uses a colorfully-painted cross to brighten someone’s day.
“These crosses should be given in love,” Parker-Reese said in a recent church press release.
Youth members and church counselors worked to craft each of the crosses with “personality,” including landscapes and flowers and even colors and symbols of various prominent sports teams, church officials said.
For $25, a person can choose to “flock” another’s yard with 15 crosses, also known as “a day of crosses,” to celebrate a special milestone including a birthday or anniversary or simply offer encouragement. After 24 hours, church members remove the two-foot high crosses and use them for another yard.
The church recently placed crosses along property belonging to an eastern Lincoln County couple who had been battling family illness and multiple hospital stays, Parker-Reese said.
Through the unique fundraiser, participants hope the crosses will continue traveling from one home to the next brightening people’s lives, “not just waiting in a closet,” the release said.
Parker-Reese, who’s served as a youth minister for more than a decade, said she conceived the particular fundraiser idea several years ago.
All proceeds will benefit the youth group’s first mission trip this summer to West Virginia, where the crew plans to build handicap ramps, paint and renovate homes and install roofing in local communities.
“The cross is a symbol of love,” Parker-Reese said. “What more appropriate way to celebrate than with love?”
For more information on Cross-Eyed with Love, contact Asbury UMC at (704) 735-6448.
“We’re Christians, and I think we should reclaim our symbol for joy,” Parker-Reese said.